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Identifying 'heroes' who make virtual hugs and kisses possible

In these uncertain times, there are heroes who serve by saving lives, and there are heroes who serve by keeping most citizens safe and connected at home.

The line of duty is drawn using a broader stroke these days. This term is reserved to describe duties of individuals associated with a certain level of responsibility. But those who still get the job done in the face of today's situation have given a new meaning to the phrase. From health workers, frontliners, police officers and the media, those in the line of duty now include delivery guys, bank tellers, grocery employees, service repair crews, and e-load resellers.

Apart from food, water, electricity, and shelter, connectivity has become the cord that strings us all together. And there are selfless, everyday cape-less heroes making sure this thread remains unbroken so we may cope with the new normal, and lead one another closer to a future that hopefully restores our daily lives.

''Kami ang mga bayaning hindi ninyo kilala pero handang mag-load at rumuta (We are the unsung heroes who continue to roam our delivery routes to provide load for everyone),'' said a Smart, Sun & TNT e-load retailer.

Frontliners in their own right, these e-load distributors and retailers are part of virtual meetings where they are constantly reminded to observe health and safety guidelines set by the government and make sure that they are as updated as the customers they serve.

Always reminded to put their safety above anything else, these load distributors and resellers are constantly urged to observe these guidelines so they can cater to the needs of customers.

It takes teamwork, virtual or otherwise, to still be of service to customers these days. Willie Capacite shared that it is not about hitting business targets anymore and that these are the times when we throw out the Xs and Os. ''During a team meeting with our Cavite team, our battle cry was to keep on providing service not just to earn, but more importantly, to help our kababayans in their communication needs in these trying times,'' he said.

Team huddles are crucial, according to Anthony Estagle because ''the team is tired but everyone remains inspired to push forward.''

For distributor operations manager Mark Carrera, the mindset is to choose hope every single day. ''Laban lang hanggang dulo! We will always guarantee that our subscribers and retailers can rely on us to deliver load supply because communication is our top priority. We are also doing this so we can remind our 'ka-partners' and subscribers to stay safe!''

Hugs, kisses and high fives online

Love online has also taken a new shape as the company navigates life in times like this.

Recognizing that connectivity provides access to friends, family and real-time window to the outside world for most of us, an e-load retailer from Marinduque said, ''Kasi sa panahon ngayon, walang ibang aasahan kundi ang bawa't isa. Balikatan ika nga. Bilang ahente, ito ang kaya kong itulong to keep everyone connected. (These days, we only have each other to rely on. As a load reseller, this is my contribution.)''

He added, ''We know that we provide the means to make virtual hugs and kisses possible. Knowing that we help make virtual high fives possible is what gets us going.''

Meanwhile, distributor Lester Castillo is aware of the risks. ''Kahit walang kasiguraduhan ang magiging kalagayan ng kalusugan ko, ginagawa ko pa rin para sa mga retailers at subscribers. Alam natin na isa sa mga pangunahing pangangailangan nila ang 'load.' (I am doing my job for our retailers and subscribers who need load and connectivity, which are part of today's basic needs.)''

Another distributor, Ariel Monzones, is reminded of that familiar TNT basketball team's mantra, ''Walang iiwanan (Nobody gets left behind).'' He continued, ''We treat our retailers as family. We know that most of them depend on load selling to provide for their family as well.''

Johnrey Villarosa of Negros Occidental said he knows the difficulties of social distancing. Priority is online connectivity because we know that social distancing is hard, ''For most of us, all we have is virtual thread to be together.''

These men and women believe in a version of the future where we all come out of this, one where we outsmarted the enemy.

There is a reason why the government included telecommunications employees amongst those allowed to travel and pass through borders like frontliners, the media, and health workers.

Joemari Ortega of Negros Occidental summed things up: ''Communication plays a vital role today more than ever. As telecommunications employees, we continue to serve all our subscribers, particularly those who are not able to stay with their loved ones these trying times. As long as we serve, communicate, and remain smart, we can and we will survive this.'' #

Smart, Sun and TNT retailers continue to sell e-load so quarantined subscribers can stay connected.

An e-load retailer and distributor meet-up at a checkpoint in Tondo.

An e-load retailer from Bgy. Don Bosco in Paranaque makes sure her 'sukis' have internet during community quarantine.

An e-load retailer keeps her small business running.


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